We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

James Bond was a “template” for the Luther movie, says Idris Elba

Idris Elba has been linked with the role of James Bond for almost as long as Daniel Craig, but he's open about its influence on his passion project - Luther.

Idris Elba as Luther

Idris Elba has been linked to the role of James Bond for so long that he has completely aged-out of the role, but is still top of most lists when it comes to fan-casting. Elba is only four years younger than Daniel Craig, and now aged 50, is significantly older than Barbara Broccoli is reportedly looking for in her search for the next Bond.

Like many actors who have long been brought up in association with Bond – such as Henry Cavill, Tom Hiddleston and more – Elba has taken on roles which could be construed as a ‘Bond audition.’ One of these is his long-running role in the detective series Luther. And now with upcoming spin-off movie Luther: The Fallen Sun, the comparisons are even more clear.

“It’s not a competition, but I reference Bond as a template for the type of film we’re going for,” Elba recently told Total Film(opens in new tab). “John is a leading character in a film that he’s the hero of. That’s the comparison I’m making. Some films do them well – Bond is one of them. But my ambition for it is to have that sort of scale, that reverence. I want people to be like: ‘Ooh! Luther, the first film? Wicked.’ And to continue that. And then maybe later down the line, when I’m too old, someone else will step in to play John.”

Elba doesn’t want to stop at just one Luther movie. “One hundred per cent, it is a franchise,” he says. “We’re desperate to take Luther out of Luther-land, and put him in the big world. I think that’s a really important characteristic of scale and growth in our films. I mean, can you just imagine John in Colombia, or darkest Berlin where it’s really weird and underground? Luther could go to America if we want to do that. That, to me, is exciting. And taking the rules of Luther-land and transposing them to different environments is really exciting for us.”

In a interview with Variety in September 2022, the Bond producers confirmed that Elba was really too old now to be considered for the role; “The thing is, it’s going to be a couple of years off. And when we cast Bond, it’s a 10-12-year commitment. So he [Elba] is probably thinking, ‘Do I really want that thing? Not everybody wants to do that. It was hard enough getting [Daniel Craig to do it].” Michael G. Wilson added; “And he was in his 30s at the time!”

It seems as though Elba is happy with Luther as his Bond equivalent. He’s just one of many Hollywood stars who has an exciting new movie coming out in 2023. Luther: The Fallen Sun comes to Netflix in March.